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- DescriptionThe tradition descending from Frege and Russell has typically treated theories of meaning either as theories of meanings (propositions expressed), or as theories of truth conditions. However, propositions of the classical sort don't exist, and truth conditions can't provide all the information required by a theory of meaning. In this book, one of the world's leading philosophers of language offers a way out of this dilemma.</p> Traditionally conceived, propositions are denizens of a third realm beyond mind and matter, grasped by mysterious Platonic intuition. As conceived here, they are cognitive-event types in which agents predicate properties and relations of things--in using language, in perception, and in nlinguistic thought. Because of this, one's acquaintance with, and kwledge of, propositions is acquaintance with, and kwledge of, events of one's cognitive life. This view also solves the problem of the unity of the proposition by explaining how propositions can be genuinely representational, and therefore bearers of truth. The problem, in the traditional conception, is that sentences, utterances, and mental states are representational because of the relations they bear to inherently representational Platonic complexes of universals and particulars. Since we have way of understanding how such structures can be representational, independent of interpretations placed on them by agents, the problem is unsolvable when so conceived. However, when propositions are taken to be cognitive-event types, the order of explanation is reversed and a natural solution emerges. Propositions are representational because they are constitutively related to inherently representational cognitive acts.</p> Strikingly original, <i>What Is Meaning?</i> is a major advance.</p>
- Author BiographyScott Soames is professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California. His books include Philosophy of Language, Philosophical Essays, Reference and Description, and Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century (all Princeton).
- Author(s)Scott Soames
- PublisherPrinceton University Press
- Date of Publication23/10/2012
- Series TitleSoochow University Lectures in Philosophy
- Place of PublicationNew Jersey
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPrinceton University Press
- Content Note30 line illus.
- Weight171 g
- Width140 mm
- Height216 mm
- Spine18 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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